Adsense: Optimizing Your Blog for The 3 Unit Rule

This is the policy. Period.

[This is part of the Blogger’s Guide to Earning More with Google Adsense.]

By now you’ve walked through a number of optimization efforts of your actual units and we’ve discussed how a lot of this is generally useless unless you have the right amount and type of traffic.

In fact, optimization of the units is only half the battle – making sure that they are positioned well (like the Blogger’s Adsense Combo) as well as strategically is the other half!

One of the things that you will need to learn about as well as begin to build a strategy around is the 3 Unit Rule:

What is the 3 Unit Rule?

Many bloggers and Adsense users either are blindly unaware of the 3 Unit Rule or they know about it but haven’t actually spent the time to optimize it properly.

Most simply it’s the rule that you can’t place more than 3 Adsense units on any given page. The rule also applies to text-based ads (3) and search (2). If you do try the advertisements simply won’t show. There have been enough discussions where people try and although they don’t show it may even slow down your blog site – I can’t confirm or deny that this will actually occur but there’s no point in trying in any case.

But what about optimization? That’s the challenge because you have more than one “type” of page on a blog. Here are just a few that you are already familiar with:

  • Home page
  • Category page(s)
  • Single post page(s)
  • Static page(s)

And most of them may have sidebars, footer areas, and other content areas for advertisements so the chance of having too many or too few adsense is very possible!

For example, on your homepage you may have one adsense in the header and two in the sidebar. But when you jump into the single post view you might also want one in the content of the blog post as well as one above or below the content area. But wait! You already have on in the header and two in the sidebar meaning that you now are trying to populate the single post view with five adsense ads!


Does that mean that you’ll have to give up one of the sidebar advertisements or the header advertisement on the homepage? What should you do? It means that you not only have to spend time testing your spots for conversion but that you have to do a bit of work to make sure that every single page has the right number of Google Adsense ads that you want.

This could require a bit of code, if you’re up for it!

One quick way to do this via WordPress is to use a little “if then” logic:



What this does is shows a specific Adsense advertisement if on the single post view (and only there) and a different one on the home page (and anywhere else this code sits).

You can quickly figure out that this simple logic can make sure that you have the full three advertisements that you’re allowed to have on all your pages on your blog.

You can also start thinking of strategy of how to use this more widely with your other advertisements as well!

[This is part of the Blogger’s Guide to Earning More with Google Adsense.]